04 hours 00 minutes
sacred religious sites, hiking, cultural museums
USD $ 10
Maximum comfort or class
15 Departures Daily
Price may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.
All about the bus options from La Paz to Copacabana
Nestled in the stunning Bolivian Andes mountains lie two incredible contrasting destinations that are close to each other.
Many travelers take the bus from La Paz to Copacabana (or the bus from Copacabana to La Paz) to get a full perspective on the rural and metropolitan fullness of the Bolivian highlands.
Copacabana is located on the glistening Lake Titicaca and is famous for its festivals, red-roofed houses, and nearby Incan religious and archeological sites. Only a stone’s throw away from Copacabana is La Paz, Bolivia’s energetic capital and at 3,640m above sea level, the world’s highest city.
Offering endless culture, rich history, and perhaps the most epic mountain views to be had in South America, these two locations beckon you. The best part logistically? You can easily get from one to the other by bus in just four short hours.
So get comfortable, draw in that fresh mountain air and join us now as we roll through exactly how to catch a bus between La Paz and Copacabana in Bolivia, what it’s like and other vital information for border-crossing between Bolivia and Peru.
What are the buses in Bolivia like?
There is a range of options with buses in Bolivia. In some parts of this vast country, you will get the full buffet of luxury buses, private shuttles, trains, and minivans to choose from, especially along the most developed and frequently traveled roads.
However, with both La Paz and Copacabana at altitudes of over 3000m above sea level and interconnected by mountainous roads and a ferry crossing, this route brings you unique experiences to behold. The required ferry crossing makes bus companies prefer to send their smaller-sized coaches so they don’t weigh so heavy on the ferry deck, but this is not always the case.
On this route in particular, there are also buses more geared to tourist groups who charter 12-15-passenger tour vans to make stops at Tiwanaku and other places along the way. In Bolivia, reserved seat numbers are not a common practice, and seats are assigned only when you start to board. But, there’s a good chance you’ll get additional perks like your bus picking you up from your hotel, but this really comes down to which company you go with. More on this later.
How long is the bus ride from La Paz to Copacabana?
In total, the bus from La Paz to Copacabana or the other way around is a 4-hour journey, including the short ferry crossing across the Strait of Tiquina.
You’re probably wondering why there is a ferry so high in the mountains!
Towards the end of the journey, you’ll actually have to disembark the bus. Copacabana is separated from the rest of Bolivia by a thin body of water known as the Strait of Tiquina. Copacabana is actually the only part of Bolivia on the western side of the Strait of Tiquina, and beyond Copacabana lies the open water of Lake Titicaca and then Peru. But we digress...
All buses require that their passengers disembark at the Strait of Tiquina. You have to take your valuables with you and catch a 15-minute ride on a small ferry across the strait. The fee of this ferry is around USD $0.30 and is usually not included in your bus fare, so bring along a few Bolivianos (the local currency) just in case. The bus is carried across the strait on a separate barge and you link back up with it on the other side. Some 45 minutes later, you will arrive in Copacabana!
What is the cost of traveling by bus from La Paz to Copacabana?
There are two take-home points here. 1) Cheap. 2) Consistent.
Honestly, regardless of which bus company you go with or when you go, the standard price for making this journey via bus is USD $10 - $12. The price can vary a little, depending on two factors:
When you go
On some days such as Fridays, Sundays and holidays it gets a little bit more expensive, but even then the fee only climbs by one or two dollars at the most.
When you book
Prices do occasionally spike in the market. Again, with such a low baseline price for tickets from La Paz to Copacabana, it’s highly unlikely that any changing market trends will affect your capacity to afford this trip. Still, when you book further in advance, you’ve locked in your rate and you won’t pay more even if prices rise later down the line.
Generally speaking, the majority of buses running from La Paz to Copacabana run standard services which is where the $10 - 12 price rate sits. However, a few of the newer bus companies actually run special VIP trips for around $30. You can read more about this in our "Best Bus" section further below.
What are the bus schedules from La Paz to Copacabana?
Normally, the buses running from La Paz to Copacabana are consistent, frequent and predictable. This is certainly a relief from what you’d find in many other South American countries like Peru or Ecuador! Normally, the first bus leaves at 6:15 a.m. and the last one goes at 13:30 (or 1:30 p.m.). These departures are scheduled mostly to line up with the ferry schedule.
All that said, changes and cancellations still occur. The easiest way to combat this? Frequently check AndesTransit to keep clued in on the current bus times. You can get a day by day breakdown of the latest bus schedules, prices, and operators.
We frequently check in with our bus operators and update all changes to schedules, often a long time before such updates would ever be published on the bus operators’ own websites! What’s more, we take every customer's order personally. We absolutely promise to check and then double-check the schedules before we send you an irreversible ticket. That way if something is changing at the moment (highly unlikely), we reach out to you personally with options to adjust or back out, free of charge.
Where can I book bus tickets from La Paz to Copacabana?
There are two options here, but simply put, the first one is by far the best.
Option 1: Online
In years gone by, online purchasing has dramatically taken over as the most advantageous way to buy and order just about everything one can think of. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that the same applies to book bus tickets. There are several great perks to this:
-- Firstly, by purchasing your tickets online, you get them much further in advance than you can if you buy them in person. In fact, AndesTransit supports payments globally, so you can book them before you even get into the country!
-- Secondly, you don’t have to deal with the stress of getting to the destination of the ticket booths, waiting in an arduously long queue; which once you finally find yourself at the front of, could continue to be a stressful experience if your linguistic capacities prevent you from explaining what you want. Many times requests are lost in translation and passengers are off to the wrong destination before they know it.
-- Thirdly, you’ll always get better seats when you book online because you are guaranteed to be buying your ticket before all those suckers who bought their tickets in person! Because of this, your tickets will also be cheaper in that as more tickets are bought, the supply goes down and the demand goes up, and so the rates also go up for all the desperate folks standing in line at the terminal.
By booking online, you will undoubtedly save time, money and stress. Simply by clicking the Reserve Now button at the top of this page, you can have an afternoon’s feat accomplished in less than a minute...all from the comfort of your own couch, bed or toilet. Or, while waiting at the airport.
In the end, it’s totally your choice and we’re not here to judge or try to change your mind, so if you do want to buy your ticket in person, here’s what you’ll need to do:
Option 2: Buy in Person
Make your way to La Paz’s main bus terminal, or Terminal De Buses La Paz, located at the top of Avenida Perú. Be prepared to wait in a long queue. Also, it’s highly advisable that you buy your ticket at least several days before you’re planning on making the journey, to ensure spaces don’t fill up and you get a good seat, preferably next to a window!
What is the best bus from La Paz to Copacabana?
You’ll notice that after clicking the Reserve Now button above, there are many bus companies to choose from, so how do you know which one is best? We make it easier for you by separating our Best Bets list from the rest of the pack in two separate tabs, but we’ll narrow it down even further by telling you our two best picks:
Turisbus has a fleet of tourist-style coaches that are comfortable and modern and seat between nine and twenty passengers. Their price also includes the boat ride across Tiquina Strait, plus they will pick you up from your hotel or hostel. With smooth driving, multilingual staff and "comfort stops" along the way between La Paz and Copacabana, they are our number one option.
Titicaca is a great second choice. Although you have to pay for the boat ride across Tiquina Strait separately and some of their buses are a little older, they are still a friendly and reliable service, while usually having some multilingual staff present.
And there you have it! Everything you need to know about the bus ride of a lifetime between the two legendary travel destinations of La Paz and Copacabana in Bolivia. You can reserve a seat on either of these carriers, plus review additional carriers, by just clicking the Reserve Now button above.